Is this your only day off and you want to tackle your entire home in just 3 hours? Talk about a challenge! Don’t worry, let’s make sure you’ll be able to maximize your time and energy and come up with a much more presentable home space at the end of the day with this 3-hour weekly cleaning schedule.
Before starting, make sure you find a stopwatch to track the time for each room. All smartphones nowadays come with this feature. Make sure to customize this guide as you wish. Let’s get right to it!
What Makes My Home Take Longer to Clean?
This is not an easy question to answer because it depends on multiple factors.
First of all, the actual square footage is important, for obvious reasons. The bigger the area, the longer you’ll spend cleaning, because not only the floor area is bigger, but also the walls and roof as well.
Another area that plays a huge role is the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Let’s think of this example: let’s say you have two 1200 sq ft apartments. They can have two completely different layout: a quiet, small Dallas town will not have the same demand as an upscale New York apartment.
The family that has been thought for the household during the design process also plays a key role here.
This means that, although they have the same square footage, you might have a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom apartment or a 2 bed, 1 bathroom 1-story house. Adding more rooms and especially service areas (such as bathrooms) will increase the time that requires to clean everything.
Finally, your lifestyle is definitely the leading decisive factor here. Depending on how much time you spend at home, whether you have kids or pets, and how many activities you perform, the time that demands cleaning can be significantly higher.
Why Should You Clean Using a Schedule?
Life can be hectic, and sticking to a schedule, in general, is not easy. Your routine gets challenged all the time with inconveniences, traffic, and other unexpected events.
But even if your day goes by smoothly, you still need some mental and physical energy to get started with cleaning. Your brain is already tired from organizing your day as it goes, which is why you should optimize all recurrent tasks as much as possible.
By creating a schedule, you’ll speed up the process because you can jump straight to it. Besides, you’ll be less likely to question or “skip” part of the cleaning routine since all chores have been added from the start, instead of adding them from scratch each time you need to clean.
Whether you’re using your smartphone to keep track of your cleaning schedule or going old school by handwriting and/or printing, having a routine already set for you is going to make it easier, and you can adapt it as you go and add or remove as many tasks as you wish.
How Much Time Should It Take You to Clean Your Home?
Again, a very complex question. A three-bedroom, 2-bathroom home where two adults and two kids live, might take between 2 to 4 hours to be cleaned every week.
Consider all the previous factors: square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and your lifestyle. They will be able to increase or decrease this time. Every household is different and therefore, there’s no magic recipe for cleaning.
Also, keep this in mind: if all family members hop in and are old enough to help with cleaning the entire house, you’ll be able to do the same in much less time, or achieve much more during the same number of hours.
Why A 3-Hour Cleaning Schedule Might Work for You
This 3-hour schedule comes with just the right number of tasks to take care of all the essential rooms in your home, but without giving away an entire day or weekend.
A 3-hour period is just long enough to cover all important areas, but it can also be squeezed first thing in the morning so you can have the rest of the day free, or maybe right after dinner.
You can also split this into two or three blocks, but this is not ideal. Once you start cleaning, you’ll build momentum which will help you get things done faster. If you choose to split that, it will take you several times to get back on track.
Besides, you never know if any compromises arise during the day, and this means that you might not be able to complete your cleaning schedule.
Of course, do what works for you, as long as you’re able to complete your cleaning routine.
Can I Incorporate Family Members into My Cleaning Schedule?
Of course you can! The more, the merrier.
Adding multiple family members (that are physically and mentally capable of performing cleaning tasks safely, of course!) will make this a more positive experience.
If you have kids, they will understand the importance of keeping a clean and tidy home, and will be more likely to help you more and more with cleaning as they grow.
Having other adult family members is great news too, because more grown-ups can take care simultaneously of “grown-up” tasks, such as handling cleaning gadgets or cleaning supplies.
Plus, it can become a tedious cleaning routine into a fun project! You can switch chores every week so that everyone gets to do a different one, which will help you keep tasks varied enough.
Getting Ready for Your Cleaning
Now, once all tasks have been split, it’s time to gather your family members and all your cleaning supplies, gadgets, garbage bags and start with your cleaning schedule.
Because this cleaning involves different areas, you are going to need a broom, cleaning brushes, a duster, microfiber cloths and, possibly, a vacuum (keep reading to find out whether you will need it or not).
If you prefer more natural, DIY cleaning products, you should grab some vinegar, either cooking vinegar or cleaning vinegar will do the job. Multi-purpose cleaner and baking soda can be necessary for certain areas of your home as well.
Deodorizer and floor cleaner should be present as well. You can choose between scented or non-scented if you have allergies or just don’t like fragrance.
Buying cleaning products in bulk is always cheaper in the long run, so keep that in mind if you plan to create a consistent cleaning schedule.
All you cleaning agents should be tested first in a small, hidden area. Once you have all your cleaning gadgets, materials and supplies it’s time to get started!
Start Your Weekly Cleaning with Your Bathroom
Bathrooms should be the first place to start (along with the kitchen) because you will probably need to let sit cleaning solutions for a while. Whatever cleaning agent you choose, they’ll work more efficiently if they have at least 10 minutes to act on the surface.
Besides, this is beneficial for you in the long run because, considering that they have had time to act on their own, you’ll need less time and effort to rub and scrub, which will give you more energy to finish other tasks faster.
On top of that, if your bathroom doesn’t have windows, it will take longer to dry and that’s the perfect scenario for bacteria and mold to grow. Especially in places with high humidity, such as Dallas.
You can start with your toilet, by adding your favorite cleaning product and letting it sit. Make sure you scrub your bathroom floor, your shower (especially the corners!), and don’t forget your sink.
If you are super quick, you’ll finish in under 20 minutes. Let’s say you have 2 bathrooms so this will take you 40 minutes in total.
Next On the Cleaning Schedule: The Kitchen
This is probably the hardest room to tackle because there’s so much to do and little time for each task. Same as your bathroom: let cleaning solutions sit for a while on your appliances and countertops first. It’s a good idea to also stack and run your dishwasher at this point.
You probably won’t have the time to clean your entire fridge but at least make sure to wash your frequently used shelves and drawers (removing the food first, of course!) Dry them and put them back in place.
By now, your appliances, countertops, and other surfaces should be ready to go. Make sure you clean them using warm water to improve your results and wipe them using a clean, microfiber cloth.
This process will easily take 40 minutes so make sure to set your timer. At this point, you probably are a bit tired. You can take a quick break but try not to lose momentum! You might also set a timer for your resting time.
Don’t Forget to Put Your Living Room in the Cleaning Schedule
Alright, the worst is over! Now let’s get to the living room. If you don’t know where to start, stand on a point where you have a complete view of your living room. Assess the area and find out what’s making more “noise” in your living room, and tackle that first.
You will probably have cushions out of place and a messy coffee table. Get rid of the mess and remove the dust from all your surfaces using a microfiber cloth. You can also wipe your TV screen and other electronics.
Next on the Cleaning Schedule: Your Bedrooms
Now, we’re almost done! Bedrooms should be one of the easiest rooms to tackle within your cleaning schedule.
A reasonable goal involves changing the sheets, sweeping your bedroom floors, and removing dust from your headboard, dressers, and nightstands.
If you have stuff over your surfaces that don’t belong there, make sure you will put them away. Besides making your bed, this will create the biggest visual impact and will set apart a messy bedroom from a clean one.
Let’s say you have 3 bedrooms. Cleaning each one for 20 minutes will take away one hour in total!
Let’s Save The Floors for Last
Now that you’re done, let’s save floors for last. You want to do it this way so that any dust or dirt on top of surfaces that you cleaned previously, will fall on the floor and be ready to be cleaned.
Sweep them and, if possible, mop them. You can try a mix of vinegar, hot water, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. If you have pets (especially dogs) you might want to add a floor deodorizer. Perhaps it won’t be necessary every week, but definitely once a month.
Always test your cleaning mix in a small, inconspicuous area, especially if you have different types of floors. Vinegar and deodorizers are fairly safe to use for almost every type of floor, but essential oils are a bit more tricky. They might stain certain types of flooring, at some of them are dangerous to use around dogs and cats.
Make sure you do some research first about that specific cleaning agent and its reaction to your environment.
If you are going to mop, make sure to start within the furthest room and work towards the room you’re planning on staying in after you’re done (for example, your living room).
If you’re fast you could get this done in less than 20 minutes in a small apartment.
When Do I Vacuum?
You might be thinking at this point (especially if you have carpet floors!): when do I vacuum?
The truth is, considering all the previous tasks, you might not have enough time to vacuum within a 3-hour schedule. Not only because of the time but also because of the effort that takes vacuuming on top of doing all your cleaning, especially if you’re doing this solo.
Vacuuming is recommended at least once a week, or twice a week if you have kids and/or pets. According to research, vacuuming offers additional benefits if performed daily. In this case, adjust vacuuming into your schedule as you see convenient.
Let’s say you are taking Sunday morning for your weekly cleaning. It might be a good idea to vacuum Sunday afternoon, and then again on Wednesday, for example.
The Downside of a Weekly Cleaning Marathon
Cleaning marathons are not always a good idea. Many people can find them exhausting. You may end up not wanting to do anything else for the day and avoid cleaning down the road.
There’s a possibility that they make you feel frustrated for letting your home get “this” messy. But maybe, because of your agenda, this might be the perfect solution for you.
It never hurts to try what works for your routine and lifestyle, and cleaning is not an exception. Always try to find a healthy balance between having a clean home, enjoying your time with friends, family or by yourself, and resting.
That’s it! 3 hours go by so fast when you’re busy and focused.
Even if you keep your home mostly clean & tidy, you will probably need to dedicate some time every week to keep things under control. Make sure you adapt this schedule as you wish, adding or removing other areas. You can also give it more or less time, after all every household is different so make sure this works for you.
What if you don’t make it every week? Remember you can always hire a cleaning service and let them take care of the heavy stuff.
How did this challenge work for you? Did it take you longer than 3 hours?